The Minute After: Michigan State

  • 01/05/2015 9:54 pm in

Thoughts on a 70-50 loss to the Spartans:

An abysmal offensive start for the Hoosiers only compounded itself as the first half went along.

Yes, Michigan State did a nice job with its perimeter defense early, not letting the Hoosiers get into the lane for kickouts to 3-point shooters or dumpoffs to the short corners. A good 3-point defending team, the Spartans stopped the attack and also kept Indiana’s shooters close.

Still, when the Hoosiers have had to take even semi-contested 3-pointers this season, they’ve found a way to drop them in the bucket. It’s the luxury of having multiple guys shooting at a high clip from distance. Keep hunting and somebody’s going to hit.

But not tonight. No, this was Brick City at the Breslin Center. There was an airball from Robert Johnson. There were 3-balls that hit only the backboard. There were some that barely kissed the rim. So many ugly misses. By game’s end, the Hoosiers hit just 5-of-24 from distance (20.8 percent). James Blackmon Jr. missed all five of his attempts from distance, was blown by for a score out of an MSU out of bounds play and missed an open Collin Hartman in the corner in the second half, as his attempt to score over the trees in the paint didn’t work out. The freshman started the game 0-of-10 and finished just 1-of-14 from the floor.

We can keep going down the line. Nick Zeisloft, already in the midst of a shooting slump, finished 1-of-6 from distance. Yogi Ferrell hit just 3-of-10. At half, only Ferrell (3-of-7) and Emmitt Holt (2-of-3) had scored. The rest of the Hoosiers went a combined 0-of-19.

It all added up to a 19-point deficit at halftime (36-17) and was just too big a hole to climb out of, despite the Hoosiers losing the second half by just one point (34-33) and turning the ball over on just 9.8 percent of their possessions. With the current state of its defense, this Indiana team can’t shoot a 32% eFG and score .81 points per possession in conference play — especially on the road — and expect to be in the contest.

Troy Williams has been sensational of late, but he got a taste of Branden Dawson (14 points, 13 rebounds) early. Williams didn’t start the second half and failed to score a point. Hanner Mosquera-Perea picked up two early fouls and spent the first half getting chewed out by Tom Crean. After his double-double against Nebraska, he finished with no points and just one rebound. Without him battling on the glass, the Spartans were able to rebound 50 percent of their misses.

A lot to gripe about here, but Michigan State entered as the clear favorite and has never lost back-to-back home games to start the season under Tom Izzo. It was an off night against a veteran team that simply couldn’t lose and played like it to start the contest.

The Hoosiers must forget this one. You must do that, too. Turn the page. A ranked Ohio State squad comes to Bloomington on Saturday afternoon. And Tom Crean Indiana teams have fared well against Top 25 Big Ten opponents inside Assembly Hall.


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  • BlakeD1223

    Anything would be better but a red sweater is iconic.

  • cbags05

    Yes I know. So you though before this game we were contending for a title? To me they have done nothing this season to even ask this question.

    This team is trying to get into the tourney….that was the case before this game and is still the case….

  • The_Bob_Michaels

    It’s the B10 M.O.. They’re easily influenced by the crowd and home team coach – it’s been that way for a long time.

  • CreanFaithful

    The kid is fast and can handle the ball. One day he will likely be a very strong PG for Izzo, but as it stands his best stat is 3 assists/game. He also shoots 25% from the field, 47% from the line and 0% from 3 on the season.

  • Speed

    No. this team has no chance at the title. Question is, can they get into the dance. Right now I would say NO if they play like they did last night.

  • Dooteetime

    Of course I want IU to be an elite program. What IU fan doesn’t? I agree that it is not easy to maintain a great program. Especially when you make poor hiring decisions when it comes to coaches (you can blame IU Administration). If IU would have let Pat Knight take over for Bobby Knight at some point it would have been a disaster too and a poor decision by the administration. BUT, IU has so much going for it and I believe advantages over other programs. Great facilities, great fans, tradition and maybe the best advantage of them all, a very fertile recruiting area close to home. As I said before, the state of Indiana alone has so much talent you could/should have top 10 recruiting classes most years. And Chicago is so close if you could make some recruiting inroads back in the city of Chicago you could really have some great recruiting classes. So I believe (just my opinion) with the right coach, the advantages IU has and recruiting IU should be a Top 5 program.

  • Gecko

    If you are small it is hard to get open shots without the help of screens and picks. I;E Alford and Calbert . You can’t expect our small guards to do it alone. (Alley ball) Crean has to see this, but is probably to vain to change this. Calbert saw this and jumped ship rather than lend his name to such a Boondoggle. You can tell from his post game comments he is LOST !!! And his assistants are just following his game plans. As is obvious we can have a nice lead at half, then in the second half the opponents come out and blow us out. This is called being out coached.